My overnight train from Varanasi departed at 5pm so I spent the morning in my air-con room, and the afternoon twiddling my thumbs beneath the fans of the Hotel Buddha restaurant. Once on the train, I chatted briefly with Laura (France) who mistook me for someone she had met in SE Asia.
I didn't sleep as well this second time, so it was a nice surprise to receive what seemed to be a reasonable quote for a rickshaw ride to Taj Ganj, the tourist area directly south of the Taj Mahal. The first view of India's iconic mausoleum resulted in another “wow” moment for me. After checking out a few hotels, I settled on a room in the same place as Laura and Dan (England). Strong winds whipped up sand, and rain soon followed, thus postponing our plans for a rooftop dinner overlooking the Taj at sunset.
The paint was peeling off the ceiling in my hotel room. At first I saw it as a charming detail, however after waking up the next day in a bed covered with flaking paint, I found it less appealing. I also learned that a vent in the wall does not constitute air-conditioning.